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Protecting your Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center from Cyber Attacks
Data breaches are when confidential, sensitive, or protected data moves to an untrusted and unsecured environment or person. They may happen intentionally or unintentionally but have major repercussions for businesses. Everyone and all businesses are at risk of a data breach. Learning more about how they occur and how to protect yourself can help protect you and minimize the damages if they do happen.
How do data breaches occur?
There are a few different ways that data breaches can occur, including:
Accidental Insider. Employees may access information without authorization or take actions without malicious intent or awareness that can create risk for company data.
Malicious Insider. Employees or vendors might purposely access or share company data. This includes people who are authorized to access the data, but that use it or share it in nefarious ways.
Lost or Stolen Devices. Any devices that contain company data, such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets, can be the source of a data leak when lost.
Malicious Outsider. Hackers who are not associated with the company can access data from a network or an individual.
Common targets of cyber attacks
Cyber attacks commonly seek certain types of information, including:
Financial information, like credit card numbers
Personal data like social security numbers to be used in identity theft
Personally identifiable information (PII) like phone numbers and social media accounts
General data that is valuable to your organization or your competitors, such as suppliers and key business relationships
Methods used by hackers
Data breaches typically occur through weaknesses in users or technology. Breeches and cyber-attacks come in different forms, each requiring different prevention and response tactics. Here is an explanation of some of the most common types:
This social engineering strategy for cyber attacks involves a person posing as someone you know or someone affiliated with the company who convinces you to provide access to sensitive data or provide them with the data yourself.
Brute force attacks
By using software programs, hackers attempt to guess passwords. Weak passwords might only take a few minutes to guess correctly with the help of fast programs.
Malware utilizes security flaws to install programs. These spyware programs are often undetectable and steal sensitive data stored on the device.
Vulnerabilities for cyber attacks
Here is a list of vulnerabilities that may put your rehab center at risk for a cyber attack:
Weak or stolen credentials: Most data breaches result from weak or stolen credentials. This means that your username and password are used to access data.
Payment card fraud: This is when card skimmers are used to collect data. The people that install these skimmers then have access to account information and can use it for their own purposes.
Compromised assets: This involves malicious malware attacks to override authentication steps on a device.
Ransomware: This is a type of malware that threatens to publish personal data or block access to it unless a ransom is paid.
Mobile devices: By downloading and installing apps with malware, companies are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Third-party access: This is when criminals utilize third-party vendors to access your information. This typically has effects regardless of the measures you take to protect your data.
Data leaks: These occur when data is accidentally exposed, typically online.
Best practices for reducing cyber-attack risk
Here is a list of steps you can take to better protect your company and data from cyber attacks:
Limiting access to data. The fewer people that have access to sensitive data, the fewer opportunities there are to compromise it.
Patch and update software to keep it up to date. There are tools you can utilize that can help assess your programs to see if any need updates.
Create strict third-party data compliance policies. Be sure to learn about your vendors and create policies for proper conduct. You can also do background checks on recurring visitors and limit the amount of information they access.
Implement password guidelines. No two passwords should be the same, and they should not contain any personal information, like names or birthdays. For more tips on password best practices, click here.
Enforcing BYOD security policies. Require all devices to use a business-grade VPN service and antivirus protection.
Enforcing strong credentials and multi-factor authentication. You can encourage users to start using a password manager to help.
Educate employees on best data security practices. Teach your team how to identify phishing attacks and other cyber-attack approaches. Hold regular training and refresher meetings to help keep cyber security best practices top of mind for employees.
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